Appropriately Named "Op Rock Bottom" Snags Eight

Vincenzo Reda of Franklin Square.


Authorities busted an online enterprise that used an offshore website for sports betting, the Rockland County District Attorney said this past Thursday.

Eight were arrested on charges of gambling and loansharking in a probe named "Operation Rock Bottom."

The arrests follow a search-and-seizure operation in April, when law enforcement hit a dozen properties, seizing gambling records and more than $750,000 in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The bust pales in comparison to a previous gambling ring that operated in the same regions. That happened last December when investigators arrested 14 and seized more than $3 million.

The December arrests came on the heels of a federal indictment in August of reputed Ramapo organized crime figure Daniel Pagano and a Suffern-based associate Michael Palazzolo.

Pagano and Palazzolo were charged with loansharking and other gambling-related counts. Pagano was identified as a captain in the Genovese crime family by federal prosecutors.

Operation Rock Bottom, which seems appropriately named for numerous reasons, began with the April seizures of illegal gambling records, computers and more than $750,000.00.

The operation also was active in Westchester County, though further information was not available, as reported by the Journal News.

The crew apparently charged interest rates topping 25 percent.

The offshore website that facilitated the ring offered usernames and passwords with which you could place bets on various games. Those charged also are alleged to be responsible for running the gambling site, as well as for collecting bets and paying winners.

A list of the people arrested for the gambling ring:

■ Ronald Ayes, 71, of 26 College Ave., South Nyack, charged with first-degree promoting gambling, first-degree possession of gambling records, fourth-degree money laundering, and second-degree criminal usury.

■ Nicholas Farese, 51, of 8 Clearwater Court, Nanuet, charged with first-degree promoting gambling, first-degree possession of gambling records, fourth-degree money laundering.

■ John Reyes, 72, of 37 S. Monsey Road, Monsey, charged with first-degree promoting gambling, first-degree possession of gambling records, fourth-degree money laundering, and second-degree criminal usury.

■ Anthony Moschella, 75, of 5 Church Lane, Valley Cottage, charged with charged with first-degree promoting gambling, first-degree possession of gambling records and fourth-degree money laundering.

■ Mark Moschella, 52, of New Jersey, charged with fourth-degree money laundering and a misdemeanor of second-degree promoting gambling.

■ Richard Herman, 75, of Manhattan, charged with first-degree promoting gambling, first-degree possession of gambling records and fourth-degree money laundering.

■ Peter Reda, 57, of Franklin Square, charged with first-degree promoting gambling, first-degree possession of gambling records and fourth-degree money laundering.

■ Vincenzo Reda, 34, of Franklin Square, charged with first-degree promoting gambling, first-degree possession of gambling records and fourth-degree money laundering.

All eight were arraigned by Clarkstown Justice Scott Ugell and released without bail.


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